tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 29, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
it prefers an every man for himself world where libertarian has as much power as the american people united together in self-government. the if there was an explanation for this, would someone please give it to me? that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in" after days of ratcheting up the rhetoric to intervene in syria, our congress and tonight the british parliament is saying not so fast. that in a moment. also tonight, fast food workers in 60 cities across the country spent the day on strike, protesting to raise their wage, shutting down some fast food restaurants. we'll talk to a u.s. congress person who joined the workers on the picket line today. plus, my interview with mayor cory booker who's running for u.s. senate. he responds to contemptible attacks on his personal life by
his republican opponent. you definitely want to stay tuned for that. we begin tonight with the momentum toward a u.s. military intervention in syria grinding to a halt and now reversing at breakneck speed. just two days ago military strikes on syrian targets were al but inevitable. tonight that is simply no longer the case. in the united kingdom just hours ago, parliament delivered a stunning rebuke to prime minister david cameron, voting down a motion that would have paved the way for military strikes in syria. a vote the prime minister promised to take heed of. >> i strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons, but i also believe in respecting the will of this house of commons. it is clear to me that the british parliament reflecting the views of the british people does not want to see british military action. i get that and the government will act accordingly. >> both the uk and u.s. government says they have intelligence showing that forces loyal to president bashar al
assad carried out the chemical weapon attack last week in the suburbs of damascus that killed hundreds of syrians. the british government unlike the u.s. even took the step of publicly releasing some of this intelligence. so far the release has not had the desired effect. in fact, tonight, the vote against david cameron's government is almost completely unheard of in uk politics, described by the "times of london" as a humiliating defeat. back at home, the president is experiencing a congressional uprising of his own. senior administration officials just finished up an unclassified briefing to assuage the concerns of congressional leaders and today the president spoke with minority leader mitch mcconnell and speaker john boehner. after the speaker expressed deep skepticism about military action in a letter to the president with 14 pointed questions about any further u.s. military involvement in sere wra. this on heels of a letter sent by 54 house democrats to president encouraging him to "seek an affirmative decision of congress prior to committing any u.s. military engagele to this
complex crisis." that after a bipartisan group of 140 house members strongly urged the president to, "consult and receive authorization from congress before ordering the use of military force in syria." right now, voices are coalescing against military involvement in syria. the white house finds itself in the incredibly awkward position of defending an intelligence finding on the use of weapons of mass destruction directly in the s shadow of iraq. >> we're not considering analogous responses clearly in any way, so i would really caution people against using both the language that people use in the iraq intelligence assessment but also making any kind of intellectual comparisons because they don't exist. >> joining me now is retired army colonel lawrence wilkerson. now at the college of william and mary. colonel, you were working with colin powell in preparing for
the big display of intelligence before the u.n. back in 2003. that intelligence that proved to be faulty. how does that experience inform way you are watching this debate unfold right now? >> as you said, i listened to george tenant tell condoleezza rice, colin powell, steve hadley and a host of other people that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction with absolute certainty. i listened saying the counterparts in uk, jordan, germany and elsewhere agreed with him. that turns out to all be false. no matter what the white house says about me not drawing bar lels, i have to draw parallels. not just that, but what i've been hearing from my colleagues in the government and elsewhere is this intelligence is a little bit ambiguous. so i'm not convinced. i think the british parliament with the 13-vote majority as you just pointed out, and i think
that's probably the first time on a national security issue since world war ii the parliament has voted against the prime minister. i think that's a significant sign of how the west feels about this. >> the ambiguity in the evidence about the deployment of chemical weapons, my understanding is the ambiguity is not that the weapons have been deployed, not even so much they were deployed by sources associated to assad but whether that can be linked to the chain of command with bashar al assad or whether -- we just, it seems, cannot establish that. given that, how important is it for the u.s. to publicly present the evidence it does have? >> i think it's all important, and i think -- here's another parallel with the situation in 2002 and 2003. we've got u.n. inspectors on the ground, and the argument we were putting out in the last 24 hours or so that conventional weapons have deteriorated the spot, so you can't do a good inspection, is preposterous. if it was a neurotoxin, if it was saran or vx or anything like
that, what you want to do is take blood samples. you want to talk to the victims. you want to look at the victims who are dead and get blood out of them and so forth. that's not a very good argument. again, that makes me begin to suspect the government's position. i have no doubt that assad might have been stupid and used chemical weapons or one of his generals might have, but it is counterintuitive. let's face it. he's got the high performance aircraft, bombs, artillery, centralized command. he's holding his own, if not winning. why would he invite international intervention and thus his inevitable defeat probably if chemical weapons use would do that? it doesn't make sense. >> here's the argument on the other side of that. the argument is he is making a bet that the world will stand by and watch, which those who are favoring intervention, the argument on favor of the intervention and way the president and white house officials have talked about it is it would be intervention to reinforce the international norm
that bans the use of weapons such as this sort. >> that's a fogood argument, iny view, but it doesn't have a follow-on. say we go ahead and launch cruise missiles, make precision strikes, even take out air defense assets, maybe do it over a series of days with multicarrier battle group operations and so forth. let's say we do that and assad, if he's smart, says, so what? what do we do next? how to we carry on. >> those are some of the questions that have haunted us since iraq. of course, colonel wilkerson. thanks so much for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> we now are joined by congresswoman barbara lee. democrat from california. congresswoman, i want to read to you an article from "the new york times" that was just posted. "president obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on syria, even with the rejection of such action by britain's parliament and increasingly rest of congress and lacking anden endorsement from the united
nations security council." is it legal for the president to strike syria without any kind of u.n., international or congressional backing? >> thank you, chris. let me say that the reason that we worked to send a letter with 54 members of congress, democratic members of congress, to the president, was to indicate first of all our unequivocal condemnation of the use of chemical weapons. i mean, that is something that is unacceptable, and we have to address that in a big way. however, there's no military solution, and in fact, american people deserve to have members of congress come in and debate the evidence, debate should we use force? and if we do use force, what the implications and the ramifications are. >> congresswoman, sorry, let me stop you there. i've heard members of congress talk about debate, consultation. my question to you is twofold. should there be a vote? and is it legal for the
president to order a strike to the absence of one? >> the constitution requires that any time we're going to engage in war, and this is using military force regardless of whether it's 24 hours, 3 days, 4 days. we're committing actually a military encounter with another country. and i believe that congress is required based on our constitution that it's our legal requirement to debate this and to make a decision as to whether or not we want to send our tax dollars, first of all, our military hardware, and yes, military personnel, into a war zone. and syria is a war zone. also, we have to debate this because, chris, you know that this could very well lead to a regional war. a regional conflict. i'm not sure the american people are ready for that, but if that is something our commander in chief and president thinks makes sense, then we must have a full debate. the american people must understand what is taking place,
and, in fact, we need to do that right away. also, chris, he me just say -- >> please. >> -- the inspections process is in place right now. we should at least understand what that's about and minimally not obstruct that process by using force at this point. >> very quickly, if there was a vote held tomorrow on whether the congress would approve a strike of syria, a la the vote held in the parliament today, what to you think the vote would be? >> when you look at the fact that there's bipartisan opposition to the use of force, you know, it's hard to say what that vote would be, but i believe there's no military solution and i think many members who i've talked to don't believe that a military strike will accomplish anything but would lead to more damage, more carnage, more violence and, in fact, would not lead to negotiated settlement and solution. that's where we need to tgo. otherwise we have a military strike, a vote to take use
force. what happens next week, in two weeks? what if there are more chemical weapons that are used? this is very complicated. it's very dangerous. so the president, i believe, is in a very difficult position and congress should be with him on whatever he does. that's why we need to have a full congressional debate right away. >> congresswoman barbara lee. thank you very much. joining me now, executive director of the task force, a non-profit advocacy group working with the rebels in syria. i want to get your reaction to what you heard so far, a tremendous amount of skepticism toward the efficacy of a u.s. military strike there and skepticism that reflects i think broad u.s. public opinion at this point. >> right. no, i mean, i, for example, share the feelings of the congresswoman that chemical weapons should never be used. a political solution is something everybody wants, nobody wants to see military intervention. but the fact is we have been slow in reacting to the crisis
in syria. our policy to syria has been pretty -- in general. i think we have acted, for example, with an announcement of military support, and a strike, to things happening on the ground due to pressure. what we've seen is almost three years, 120,000 people killed. conventional and chemical weapons. chemical weapons used in the past that was verified by multiple countries and that was the first response of military assistance. now we see him using it on a bigger scale. i think the president is right in ensuring that is something as taboo as using chemical weapons where this entire planet has decided it's something that should never be used, must not go unpunished or else we'll see the same trend we're seeing, another attack on a bigger scale. >> what do you say to the what next question? let me play for you the president describing what kind of an attack it would be were he to order one. he says, the president has been clear, he's not contemplating -- >> he is not contemplating an open-ended military action.
he is contemplating what we're talking about here is something that's very discreet and limited. >> if it's discreet and limited, then what exactly does it accomplish and what happens the next day? >> i think that's a really good question, but, you know, i think for the same cost of a discreet and limited air strike which is maybe taken only as a punitive measure, we must have some sort of overarching strategic plan how this strike could be used to end the crisis. i think what's disappointing is mostly on the media and in the president's interview that he did, you know, a couple days ago is the fact we're focusing on there was chemical weapons used. we have to apply because this is absolutely against all norms in international law and so on, and it's a moral duty for the international community to act. yet we have not addressed the crisis, itself, which 120,000 people have died. way more with conventional weapons than non. >> you spent a lot of time in syria. i know you've been working with
rebels there and actually helped take members of congress over there. if you could wave a magic waupd. if mouaz mostafa controlled american policy, what could you do? >> i was speaking to president obama right now, i would say, we have obviously, again, no good options because how late we are on taking a greater leadership role in resolving this crisis. in this intervention that seems to be imminent, if we have some strategy in using this intervention to lead to true political negotiations and a solution, then that would be great and that includes things like taking out all airports where you stop the daily flights from russia and iran, resupplying weapons used against civilians and take out his ability to use weapons against civilians. ti finally i think we need to aim at showing his inner circle and the regime, itself, they are not immune and don't have -- >> what you are describing, mouaz poustafa, is certainly not
discreet from the syrian task force, that is mouazmoustafa. my interview with cory booker is is one you don't want to miss. today, john lewis saw striking workers on tv and rushed to the picket line to join them. we'll bring you what he said. that's ahead. in your contact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit airoptix.com for safety information and a free one-month trial. at humana, our medicare agents sit down with you and ask. being active. and being with this guy. [ male announcer ] getting to know you is how we help you choose the humana medicare plan that works best for you. mi familia. ♪ [ male announcer ] we want to help you achieve your best health, so you can keep doing the things that are important to you. taking care of our customers. taking care of her. and the next thing on our list is bungee jumping. [ male announcer ] helping you --
mayor of the city across the river from us here in new york, newark, new jersey, is a bona fide rising star in the democratic party. he's running for senate and today i got a chance to talk to him in a wide ranging interview. he addressed the attacks on his sexuality by his republican opponent. stay tuned for that.
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civil rights hero congressman john lewis who yesterday helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington for jobs and freedom was back in atlanta today and there he reportedly saw on televisions strikes outside fast food restaurants across the country. john lewis then went and joined one of those picket lines in atlanta. >> i do not understand how people survive. >> right. >> when they're -- >> yes, sir. >> in a country like ours, we can do much better. sometimes we're too quiet. >> you're right. >> sometime you have to find a way to make a way out of no way. sometimes you have to find a way to get in the way. >> to find a way to get in the way. the average employee at a fast food restaurant in this country makes $8.94 per hour. we talked about repeatedly on this show, spoken with workers here in this studio, they tell
us that is not enough. today an industry that had never been faced a large-scale strike had its workers walk out in 6 o cities in 1,000 stores across the country. the largest such strike of its kind. these workers are demanding a raise to $15 an hour and right to unionize. from new york to los angeles, marking the first time for fast food workers to protest there, to seattle, to boston, to milwaukee, to wilmington, to detroit, to charlotte, the largest city in a right-to-work tate in the south. today's demonstrations are an indication of just how the movement has grown over the last several months. a first week on this show, we covered a one-day fast food worker strike then being called the biggest job action ever in that industry. then last month, more than 2,000 fast food workers went on strike in seven cities including chicago, st. louis, kansas city, missouri, flint, michigan, new york, milwaukee, detroit. not only has the movement grown, but it has captured the national
imagination. >> $15 an hour. what do they think, those arches are made of gold? >> earl eaier today we reached to several companies to see if they had anything to say. i'd very much like to discuss the issue with the representative of any of them. less than a handful responded. mcdonald's issued a statement. "mcdonald's aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees. it will be business as usual for us." folks at burger king told us their restaurants provided an entry point into the workforce for millions of americans during this time. customer service and quality will remain a top priority in all burger king restaurants." the statement by wendy's, downright passive/aggressive. they're proud to provide a place for thousands of people who come to us asking for a job can enter the workforce at a starting wage, gain skills and advance with us or move on to something else." company line here seems to be the fast food industry is a fwaetway of opportunity for young people looking to get ahead. the reality is something quite different. the fast food industry not made
up of a bunch of teenagers looking to earn extra spending money for the summer. average age is 35. a third of them h are 40 years old. a third of them are women. 55% of fast food workers, it's their full-time job. joining me, jan schakowsky, from illinois. congresswoman, who is a woman of congress doing joining a strike like this? >> well, this gets to the heart of our economic problem in this country which is income inequality. yes, those arches are made of gold for people like ceo donald thompson who makes over $13.7 million in his pay package last year. but i met fast food workers today at mcdonald's who have been working there for a decade and still making $8.50 an hour. you an not live on that kind of wage, and they end up turning to the government for support, so
we end up subsidizing donald thompson and the profits that mcdonald's. >> what do you say to the people watching this and saying, look, this is between the employees of mcdonald's and their employer? this is a private market encounter that happens between people seeking work and those who are looking to hire folks, and it's not really any of your business, respectfully, congresswoman, what they pay their workers. >> look, this is an entire industry that is paying poverty wages in this country, and thousands and tens of thousands, maybe millions of people who simply can't make it on those kinds of wages, and i think that forming a union, getting $15 an hour, which makes a modest income of about $31,000 a year, if you get to work full time, is something that is a proper demand. and actually these workers are acting -- are going to the employers, are going to these companies. i'm standing with them because i
think we need it for our economy. if they got paid more, we're going to see millions of jobs created because there are going to be consumers in the marketplace. >> you're going to go back to washington. in session in a week. what can you do as a member of congress to help them? >> there's a couple of things. the president has called for a $9 minimum wage. we have a bill in congress that george miller has introduced. congressman miller. $10.10 an hour. and in fact, the president could with an executive order do something about the low-wage workers, 2 million of them, that are contract workers for the federal government. that would be a good start. >> so the president can actually sign an executive order that would mandate a living wage or higher wage for those workers who happen to be working for private firms contracting to the federal government. mcdonald's, for example, on army bases and federal facilities. he could do that with the stroke of a pen? >> that would be, i think, a
very good signal that we don't think those poverty wages that are paid to millions and millions of workers across the country are good for our economy and certainly not food for those families. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky of the great state of illinois. thank you so much. >> thank you. fox news host bill o'reilly gets caught lying about republicans being barred from the march on washington yesterday, and the truth is way better than the lie. i'll tell you what actually happened, next. but that doesn't mean we're all the same. just like greek yogurts. that's why i prefer activia greek. mmm! activia helps regulate your digestive system. activia greek, ♪ activia! like no other greek yogurt. ♪ dannon [ male announcer ] from the last day of school, back to the first. they're gonna make everything from posters to do it yourself tattoos. so make sure they've got the sharpies to make their mark. this week only get sharpie five packs for a dollar. staples has it. staples. that was easy.
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there have been three african-americans who have been popularly elected to the u.s. senate since reconstruction. the best chance to be the fourth sat down with me tonight to talk about a criminal justice system that destroys the lives of hundreds of thousands of black people and what can be done about it. that's coming up. first i want to share the throe awesomest things on the internet today. #click3 is back. we begin with the missing republicans. good news. we found hem. the day after the 50th anniversary of martin luther king's "i have a dream" speech the right wing ecochamber had one big complaint, where were all the republicans? >> wasn't it a little strange we didn't have one black conservative or one black republican? >> i have no idea why -- >> no republicans and no conservatives. >> the "drudge report" was outraged. "segregation. nation's only black senator not invited." referring to republican tim scott whose own office backed up the claims until "roll call"
says scott was invited but turned it out. an e-mail said "unfortunately the senator will be in south carolina during this time." invitations went out to all congressional republicans. john boehner decided to stay in wyoming. majority leader eric cantor chose north dakota instead of the lincoln memorial. what for? to tour a camp for oil workers in a moment that may or may not have looked like this. probably not but it's still funny to imagine. don't worry, guys. i'm sure you'll have another chance to make things right 50 years from now. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, patrick stewart internet darling. a guy who goofs around in the main offices of twitter in silicon valley. now is a guy with a compulsion for sharing quirky moments in his life on social media. not one to shy away of posting photos of himself with bizarre fruits. the latest opus, a home video
shot by a female companion, a classically trained actor, instructs viewers on the art of the take. >> just running through the take. the double take. the triple take. our buns are the best. double take. her buns are the best. triple take. her buns are the best. >> while you're trying to figure out whose buns stewart is talking about, he kicks it up a notch with an attempted quadruple take. >> her buns are the best. that might have been actually the quintuple take. >> really who's counting when something rules this hard? the third awesomest thing on the internet today, cage fighting. there's something about nicolas cage you can't put your finger
on. is he one of the world's worst actors? a site called cage, one true fwod. one contributor shared his contribution to the world of cage worship. he and his friend put a picture of cage all over another friend's house. 51 photos in all. some obvious. some less so like this one inside the tv remote or this one inside a computer mother board. nothing was safe. not the cookie jars or the sofa's cup holder arm rest or a bottle of mrs. butterworth's, or this most appropriate location, a slice of cheese. the guys who did this surely celebrated in true cage fashion. while the victim probably had a different cageian reaction. >> why don't you say we cut the chitchat a-hole? >> more proof cage remains an international treasure. find the links for tonight's #click3 on our website, allinwith yn chris.com. la's known definitely for its traffic,
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that the moral conscience of our country still calls us. that hope still needs heroes. we need to understand that there is still work to do. >> that was newark mayor and democratic nominee for senate cory booker, marking the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. if current polling holds, booker is on his way to becoming only the fourth african-american elected to the u.s. senate in american history and the first since barack obama. booker is the rare mayor who's also become a national figure. a charismatic man, in his own words work a holic leader in rebels in the image of guardian of the people fighting off crime and urban decay in new jersey's largest city. he rescued a freezing dog, saved a woman from a burning building. that actually happened. booker has been on the political radar since he was 29.
grabbed attention by holding a ten-day hunger strike. some believe booker has the ability and drive to be president. thought that since his days at stanford and oxford where he was a scholar. he's been accused of being a shameless publicity speaker, angered members of his own party after publicly defending bain capital during last year's presidential campaign. he's gotten further flak from the left, myself, included, for hedge fund backers and support of school voucher programs. in the heat of a senate campaign, things have gotten strangely personal. booker's republican opponent lonegan jumped on comments booker made about his private life and is bizarrely questioning his masculinity of all things and engaging in -- booker is rolling out his first big domestic policy platform, and it is not at all what you would expect from a politician with the level of ambition that cory booker clearly has.
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folks to grow and sell it as long as the states have strict rules how it's districted. colorado legalized the consumption and sale of marijuana. "the new york times" reports attorney general eric holder called the governors of those states earlier today to inform them of the administration's position explaining a trust but verify approach in monitoring the state's new regulatory framework. this is a big deal. it's just the latest in what is an undercover but absolutely clear wave of momentum in the direction of criminal justice reform. yesterday on the steps of the lincoln memorial, congressman john lewis sweas well as jimmy carter and bill clinton addressed the social and moral costs, mass incourarcerationinc. the nation's first black president weighed in on the matter as well. >> the memorial universe may bend toward justice, but it doesn't bend on its own. to secure the gains this country
has made requires constant vigilance. not complacency. whether by challenging those who erect new barriers to the vote or ensuring the scales of justice work equally for all and the criminal justice system is not simply a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. it requires vigilance. >> in the meantime, newark mayor cory booker is promising to make criminal justice reform his signature issue if he's elected to the u.s. senate next month. later in the year. yesterday booker revealed an ambitious plan to overhaul the current system. one that would address the decriminalization of marijuana as well as eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders and disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine and put an end to the private prison system. i spoke to mayor booker about his proposal and the urgent need for reform earlier. >> i was impressed by the scope of the reforms that you've laid
on the table around criminal justice. what motivated you to make this your first real big kind of domestic policy push? >> it's the fact we in america, biggest gross waste of american money, american taxpayer dollars in our country. it doesn't make our communities safer. in fact, i think it makes our communities more dangerous. it wastes obviously taxpayer dollars and suppresses the truth of who we are. we say we're the country of freedom and justice yet we incarcerate more people in america than any other country on the globe. you see every single day in cities like newark the profoundly awful impact of the criminal justice system, even the police officers that i ride around with at night, they feel like they're stuck on this treadmill going nowhere. they can name people on street corners. that's how well they've gotten to know them. if you're a murder victim in newark, a victim in my city, it's an 8 85 pk chance you've bn arrested before an average of ten times. on both sides people are going through this crazy game.
police, individuals. that we could stop with common sense solutions. >> how much of that can be corrected at the federal level? obviously policing is a local endeavor. criminal justice systems are local. how much can you get done federally? >> a lot can be corrected at the federal level. our federal policies to me are as egregious as most of our state policies are. so we could be working on substance abuse like marijuana, what we do in federal systems to empower people not to come back. how we look at court systems and incentivize prosecutors, focusing on incarceration, incarceration, as opposed to the outcomes which we should be looking toward which is keeping people out of prison. >> recidivism, keeping people out of prison. as opposed to how many inputs you create, what are the outputs? >> exactly. all across. then really on re-entry. i had the privilege of citying with 14 mayors and the president and attorney general talking about -- we've had incredible success with our pilot programs. how you can dramatically drop the cost of government by
empowering people when they come out of prison. >> one of the things that's interesting here, there's one place in your proposal i thought was weak, and that was you called for a structured national conversation on decriminalizing marijuana. it seems to me we have news today, attorney general of the united states telling two states he will not interfere. federal government won't interfere in those two states' experiments in legalized marijuana. why, why so soft on marijuana if. >> first of all, let's all agree there are so many steps we can do before we get to decriminalization that we urg t urgently must to. you and i are two men, black and white. the chances of me, if we're both pot users, the chances of me getting arrested, there's no greater rates of black male use of pot than white males. about the same. i'm 3.7 more times more likely to be arrested than you are for doing something the same thing, multiple presidents have now admitted doing. we punish nonviolent drug offenders who can't get student loans and the like. so all this mess has to be taken off the table.
why are we putting people, why not investing in drug courts? by the way, what we're finding is investment in courts drives down dramatically the cost of government. there's all these common sense things we need to do up to legalization or decriminalization we should be doing including respecting the laws of the states. >> is that a political calculation on your part or policy calculation? you were saying i to get us to where we need to be conversationally, but you know, do you think you -- >> we have this massive problem of pot in this country due to the overall criminalization of pot, by a focus on drugs, use them once and you die. bringing people together in a nondemagogue fashion is important. >> you've been a mayor, no a trajectory a lot of people go through to get into senate.
>> only 20 people directly from being a mayor to the united states senate. >> racial profiling, policing. newark has done a bunch of reforms in concert with community. do you think new york city is doing enough to go in the direction your city has to try to come together with the community as opposed to antagonize them which is what it feels like the new york mayor is doing. >> i would be wrong to tell you newark is somehow a paragon on this. the reason we've been working with the aclu and others in pushing the bar in terms of disclosure and correcting data is just an early step. i really want to thank newark, new jersey's, aclu for working with us to fast track us to a point where we can be really proud. the fact is this is a tough complicated issue. i get tremendous calls of service. more so than in other areas. in neighborhoods that are often african-american. i have police that are doing everything they think they should be doing to keep
communities safe and so this is a tough issue. but the first and foremost, this is where i applaud the new jersey's aclu, is that in new jersey, on my side of the river, we're not doing all we can do to create the kind of transparency that we need to even analyze the issues so we all can be working from the same facts. >> what is your reaction when the mayor of new york says, i think we're probably stopping too many white people in new york city? >> look, again, i just want to keep it on my own turf because the reality is this is a very, very difficult issue. again, let's just be clear what's going on in america right now. in new jersey, we have 14% of my state is african-american, and our prison system is over 60% black. we are putting in this country, that stands for such wanted and incredibly great principles, here we are 50 years from the march on washington, here we are a century more, frankly, from battling with the worst kind of white supremacy, but yet we're creating these pipelines from
failed schools to our prisons that are disproportionately affecting the african-americans and poor, but we're all tied to the same destiny when it comes to solving these problems. we have to solve them. there has to be an urgency. it can't be about attacking other sides. fig wrur out what the best things are for safety, lower taxpayer expendtures and elevate human potential. coming up, mayor booker will respond to the frankly gross remarks made by his republican opponent in the new jersey senate race. stay with us. na, our medicare as sit down with you and ask. being active. and being with this guy. [ male announcer ] getting to know you is how we help you choose the humana medicare plan that works best for you. mi familia. ♪ [ male announcer ] we want to help you achieve your best health, so you can keep doing the things that are important to you. taking care of our customers. taking care of her. and the next thing on our list is bungee jumping. [ male announcer ] helping you -- now that's what's important to us.
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morning for a manicure and pedicure. his peculiar fetish is how it's described. i have a more peculiar fetish. i like a good scotch and a cigar. that's my fetish. we'll compare the two. >> that was republican candidate for senate steve lone fwrgan of jersey questioning the masculinefy of his democratic opponent, cory booker. in response to an interview booker gave to the "washington post." newark mayor expressing his wishes to keep his dating life private. how unfair is it for a young lady to put them in the spotlight? they haven't signed up for that yet. people think i'm gay, i want to challenge people on their homophobia. so what does it matter if i am? so be it. i hope you're not voting for me because you're making the assumption i'm straight. i asked mayor booker about lonegan's comments, the campaign an much more. i have to ask you about the campaign. you're running for senate. your republican opponent, steve lonegan, i'm going to editorialize for a moment.
is acting pretty -- is acting a lot of nonsense in which he's questioning your masculinity, questioning whether you're gay or straight. i think you responded in a really great way basically saying, what the hell do you care, it doesn't make one bit of difference what kind of senator i would be. from perspective of the gay rights movement and progress we've seen for lgbt rights, coming out has been a huge morally important step to get the kind of acceptance we've seen. so my question is, if you are gay, why would you not just come out? >> first of all, this is the ri ridiculousness of this point. the question should not be whether you're gay or straight, but question should be, why are you asking the question in the first place? it doesn't make a difference what kind of senator i'm going to be or not. what i'm simply saying now, we live in a nation of tragic injustice where we have said there's going to be a class of americans that are going to get second-class citizenship because of who they choose to love and
the rest of us americans are going to enjoy full citizenship rights. these are germane issues to how i'm going to perform as a senator. this is what i find comical. my local press, i was talking to a local reporter who has been covering me for seven years saying there's no evidence including your protestations that's out there already, as i said to the reporter. he and i were talking. why is this coming up yet again of something that has been affirmed and talked about a lot. let me tell you why. you know, again, my opponent in this race is going to try to really replicate the worst of our national politics where we make a race about individuals and not the issues. and so this is a guy that's attacked -- >> let me stop you there. i want to push back from a left -- from a progressive perspective. this is being done in this gross way. from a progressive perspective, there's a connection between the political and personal. this has been the argument gay folks have been making since harvey milk and before, the connection between the political and personal is personally coming out has a very profound political effect.
one does connect to the other because it creates a kind of seismic change of people's p percepti perception. >> i have affirmed my sexual orientation over the years. people in my local press world know what that is. in some ways the fact you and i are having this conversation might be a little more frust ra rating. i really, really want to drive this home is we need to stop in america talking about anybody in a public realm besides what is important. content of their character. quality of their ideas. courage within their hearts to serve others. that's what's important. here we have an opponent trying to say god awful things. literally saying, i believe a guy should be a guy. almost like saying you are not a man, that you're not a man if you're gay. that is so extreme. let's shine lights on this for a second and understand that my father taught me what manhood is about. and it's not about whether you play football or enjoyed
badminton. being a man is about love. about kindness to others. about standing up for what's right. about doing what's important to do in the unfinished business of america. so, again, my sexuality is not an issue right now. especially because it's been talked about by me for years before we get into a campaign that suddenly this issue is brought up again because of behavior of my opponent. >> last question. why should barbara buono be the next governor of new jersey? >> please don't -- this is another example. let's get away from personalities. i'm friends with them. if you believe in these issues, marriage equality, woman's right to choose, that we should as new jersey be a part of regional greenhouse gas agreements, if you support planned parenthood and women's preventative care. if you believe that we should make massive investments in nfr information like the arch tunnel. if you're a believer we should not be cutting the earned income
tax credit which raises taxes. if you look at the issues, forget the personalities, if these are the things you stand for, who are you going to choose? when you line up all the issues, for me, clearly barbara buono is the candidate to support and most in line with where new jersey stands. i'd like this campaign for the governor, three weeks after the october 16th senatorial -- >> governor gave you your own special election. >> i feel very special with that. the reality is i'm really hoping my state, the state that i love, and we really focus on the issues in this election and really just do an issue chart of what's important to you from economic empowerment, from equity, from dealing with women's health care. line up the issues and vote on the issues, not the personalities. >> cory booker, mayor of newark, new jersey. candidate for senate. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the "rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening. i told you yesterday i was going
to give you congratulations for beating me in the ratings and a warning you should never do it again and did it a second night in a row. >> i feel like this is a taboo breaking fourth wall exploding conversation. we do this, i'm ashamed we're talking about this in front of the viewers. >> you know what, actually we shouldn't talk about this in front of everybody. let's cut this before we go live. >> all right. >> thanks, chris. oh, hello, there. thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. happy thursday. there's a ton going on in the news right now. obviously syria and the possibility of the u.s. or the west, more broadly, taking military action against syria to punish them for allegedly using chemical weapons. that story is at the forefront of the news internationally, and it has been breaking quickly. new news about that has been breaking quickly over the course of the late afternoon and early evening tonight. so we're going to have more on that this hour with andrea mitchell. including the really quite brilliant debate some of our allies have been having about syria even if